Summer would not be complete without dragons or dinosaurs to mesmerize younger viewers. This weekend, one of the year’s most anticipated animated films, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” opened in theatres.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is set five years after the events of the first film, which focused on the transformation of a Viking community from a dragon-fearing one to a dragon-loving one. The Vikings who live on the island of Berk have fully incorporated the benevolent dragons into their every day life. Indeed, it seems as though every distinctive looking Viking has at least one favorite unique looking dragon. One day, Hiccup (played by Jay Baruchel), the young architect of all this harmony, and his feisty girlfriend, Astrid (played by America Ferrera), are captured by a group of dragon catchers who work for the dangerous Draco Bludvist (played by Djimon Hounsou), who is building a ferocious dragon army. They escape and return home to tell everyone about Draco. Although his father (played by Gerard Butler) discourages him, Hiccup leaves Berk to try to find the dragon army's leader. He ends up finding Valka (played by Cate Blanchett), a mysterious woman who lives with many dragons. The gentle dragon trainer turns out to be Hiccup’s long lost mom.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” works because it has great animation and an appealing story with likeable characters. The animation artists portray dozens of different exotic and beautiful looking dragons, it looks like they could have been inspired by butterfly collections. The winsome dragons have a lot of personality, especially Toothless, Hiccup’s dragon. Toothless is very fast and loyal to our hero. The character designs are also interesting. The blustery Draco has his hair in dreadlocks.
The cast is very strong. Jay Baruchel is quite good in the lead role. He shows that his character has matured since the first film. America Ferrara is equally good, showing Astrid is as tough as most of the male characters. Cate Blanchett is perfectly cast as Hiccup’s mom. Djimon Hounsou makes Draco a good villain.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is worthy of its predecessor.